Saturday, August 25, 2012

This Week's Education Research Report 8-25-12 #SOSCHAT #EDCHAT #P2

Education Research Report:


Study finds a new pathway for invasive species – science teachers

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 48 minutes ago
A survey of teachers from the United States and Canada found that one out of four educators who used live animals as part of their science curriculum released the organisms into the wild after they were done using them in the classroom. Yet only 10 percent of those teachers participated in a planned release program, increasing the likelihood that the well-intentioned practice of using live organisms as a teaching tool may be contributing to invasive species problems. The study was presented today (Aug. 7) in Portland at the national meeting of the Ecological Society of America. "... more »

Drugging, drinking and smoking during the school day

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 day ago
CASAColumbia’s 2012 back-to-school teen survey, National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XVII: Teens (August 2012) reveals that 86 percent of American high school students say that some classmates are drugging, drinking and smoking during the school day and almost half know a student who sells drugs at their school. The survey also reveals that 52 percent of high school students say that there is a place on or near school grounds where students go to get high during the school day. Thirty-six percent say it is easy for students to use drugs, drink or smoke during t... more »

For poorer children, living in a high-cost area hurts development

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 2 days ago
Young children in lower-income families who live in high-cost areas don't do as well academically as their counterparts in low-cost areas, according to a new study. The study, by researchers at Child Trends and the University of California (UCLA), appears in the journal Child Development. "Among families with incomes below 300 percent of the federal poverty threshold—that's below $66,339 for a family of four—living in a region with a higher cost of living was related to lower academic achievement in first grade," according to Nina Chien, a research scientist with Child Trends, who... more »

Practicing music for only few years in childhood helps improve adult brain

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 2 days ago
A little music training in childhood goes a long way in improving how the brain functions in adulthood when it comes to listening and the complex processing of sound, according to a new Northwestern University study. The impact of music on the brain has been a hot topic in science in the past decade. Now Northwestern researchers for the first time have directly examined what happens after children stop playing a musical instrument after only a few years -- a common childhood experience. Compared to peers with no musical training, adults with one to five years of musical training as... more »

Intense prep for law school admission test alters brain structure

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 2 days ago
Intensive preparation for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) actually changes the microscopic structure of the brain, physically bolstering the connections between areas of the brain important for reasoning, according to neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley. The results suggest that training people in reasoning skills – the main focus of LSAT prep courses – can reinforce the brain's circuits involved in thinking and reasoning and could even up people's IQ scores. "The fact that performance on the LSAT can be improved with practice is not new. People know that... more »

Cramming for a test? Don't do it, say UCLA researchers

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 2 days ago
Every high school kid has done it: putting off studying for that exam until the last minute, then pulling a caffeine-fueled all-nighter in an attempt to cram as much information into their heads as they can. Now, new research at UCLA says don't bother. The problem is the trade-off between study and sleep. Studying, of course, is a key contributor to academic achievement, but what students may fail to appreciate is that adequate sleep is also important for academics, researchers say. In the study, UCLA professor of psychiatry Andrew J. Fuligni, UCLA graduate student Cari Gillen-O'N... more »

Unequal Education

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 2 days ago
*Federal Loophole Enables Lower Spending on Students of Color* Today, nearly 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education, our schools remain separate and unequal. Almost 40 percent of black and Hispanic students attend schools where more than 90 percent of students are nonwhite. The average white student attends a school where 77 percent of his or her peers are also white. Schools today are “as segregated as they were in the 1960s before busing began.”. Separate will always be unequal. But just how unequal is the education we offer our students of color today? This paper answers th... more »

The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2012

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 2 days ago
Full report In 2012, 67% of all ACT-tested high school graduates met the English College Readiness Benchmark, while 25% met the College Readiness Benchmarks in all four subjects. Fifty-two percent of graduates met the Reading Benchmark and 46% met the Mathematics Benchmark. Just under 1 in 3 (31%) met the College Readiness Benchmark in Science. By contrast in about 72% of all 2011 ACT-tested high school graduates met at least one of the four College Readiness Benchmarks in English, Reading, Mathematics, or Science. Fully 28% of all graduates did not meet any of the College Readine... more »

Recent State Action on Teacher Effectiveness

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 2 days ago
During the 2010, 2011, and 2012 legislative sessions, a combination of federal policy incentives and newly elected governors and legislative majorities in many states following the 2010 elections sparked a wave of legislation addressing teacher effectiveness. More than 20 states passed legislation designed to address educator effectiveness by mandating annual evaluations based in part on student learning and linking evaluation results to key personnel decisions, including tenure, reductions in force, dismissal of underperforming teachers, and retention. In many cases states passed... more »

Compulsory School Attendance: What Research Says and What It Means for State Policy

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 4 days ago
During his 2012 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama offered several recommendations on education policy, including one specifying that all states increase the age of compulsory school attendance to 18. Approximately 25 percent of public school students in the U.S. don’t obtain a regular high school diploma, a tragedy for them and a heavy burden for the nation and the communities and states in which they live. Certainly, America needs to address this problem, but is raising the compulsory school attendance (CSA) age a viable solution? In a new paper, Compulsory Schoo... more »

Teacher Attitudes Toward Unions, Education Reform

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 4 days ago
Over the past decade, teachers have seen changes in both their conditions of employment—from pay to retirement benefits—and their practice. Far too often, these policies have been made by people who talk about teachers, rather than talking to them. Last fall, Education Sector surveyed a nationally representative random sample of more than 1,100 K-12 public school teachers. The results of that survey are published in a new Education Sector report, Trending Toward Reform: Teachers Speak on Unions and the Future of the Profession.Co-authors Sarah Rosenberg and Elena Silva look at teac... more »

Eighth-Grade Algebra for All?

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 4 days ago
What Do the California Standards Test Results Reveal About the Movement Toward Eighth-Grade Algebra for All? In California, an increasing number of 8th graders have taken algebra courses since 2003. This study examines students’ California Standards Test (CST) results in grades 7 through 11, aiming to reveal who took the CST for Algebra I in 8th grade and whether the increase has led to a rise in students’ taking higher-level mathematics CSTs and an improved performance in following years. Results show that the pipeline of 8th-grade algebra and following years’ higher-level mathema... more »

Heterogeneity in High Math Achievement Across Schools

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 4 days ago
Related article Complete paper This paper explores differences in the frequency with which students from different schools reach high levels of math achievement. Data from the American Mathematics Competitions is used to produce counts of high-scoring students from more than two thousand public, coeducational, non-magnet, non-charter U.S. high schools. High-achieving students are found to be very far from evenly distributed. There are strong demographic predictors of high achievement. There are also large differences among seemingly similar schools. The unobserved heterogeneity ac... more »

New Research on Text Complexity

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 4 days ago
Full report:Supplemental Information for Appendix A of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy: New Research on Text Complexity Related article Appendix A of the Common Core State Standards (hereafter CCSS) contains a review of the research stressing the importance of being able to read complex text for success in college and career. The research shows that while the complexity of reading demands for college, career, and citizenship have held steady or risen over the past half century, the complexity of texts students are exposed to has steadily dec... more »